Hey there, everyone! We've got a fresh addition to our "Founder of the Week" series. Prepare to be inspired by the remarkable journey of Bertin, the visionary founder behind "MetaFlight." Bertin's story is a testament to the power of passion, resilience, and the pursuit of a lifelong dream in the world of aviation and entrepreneurship.
From dream to reality:
What ignited Bertin's entrepreneurial journey? It all began with a deep-rooted passion for aviation and a childhood dream of becoming a pilot for AirFrance. Life took Bertin on a different path, leading him to a desk job instead of a cockpit. However, his love for aviation never waned, and he discovered a way to experience it through flight simulation, particularly Flight Simulator.
But there was a missing piece—a sense of responsibility as a commercial airline pilot, managing passengers, and the genuine flying experience. This longing led Bertin to create "AirFrance Virtuel" in 2011, a virtual airline aimed at recreating his dream. Today, AirFrance Virtuel has evolved into the world's leading French-speaking virtual airline with over 3000 pilots.
Bridging the gap:
Identifying a market need is the foundation of any successful business venture. Bertin's journey with MetaFlight began with a noticeable void in the aviation simulation community. Enthusiasts and professionals practicing flight simulation craved more immersive content and experiences that were lacking in the industry.
This gap in the market prompted Bertin to launch MetaFlight, a groundbreaking solution that leverages technology to democratize access to aviation careers. It offers immersive experiences, real-world training, and blockchain-secured flight records, revolutionizing aviation education and skill development.
The entrepreneurial journey is riddled with challenges, and one significant obstacle Bertin faced in the early stages of MetaFlight was conveying the comprehensive ecosystem to stakeholders and investors. Despite securing some grants, Bertin primarily relied on self-funding and made substantial investments to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for the platform. However, Bertin's unwavering determination and the support of the MetaFlight community propelled the project forward.
Building a dream Team:
Building a strong team is essential for success, and Bertin sought individuals who shared his unwavering commitment, diverse skill sets, and a shared passion for the MetaFlight vision.
A transformative vision:
MetaFlight's long-term vision is to democratize aviation careers and break down barriers to entry. The platform aims to make aerospace careers accessible to anyone with a passion for flight, regardless of their background.
The essential entrepreneurial Skill:
For Bertin, resilience is the most important skill for an entrepreneur, allowing them to navigate the challenges and uncertainties of the journey.
The Driving Force:
Bertin's motivation as an entrepreneur is deeply rooted in his passion for aviation and his mission to make aviation careers accessible to all.
Words of Wisdom:
His advice to aspiring entrepreneurs? Embrace problems, learn from failures, and view them as stepping stones to success.
Entrepreneurship has impacted Bertin's life by challenging him to balance personal, professional, and entrepreneurial roles, requiring impeccable time management and prioritization.
A remarkable journey:
Bertin's journey is an embodiment of perseverance and the relentless pursuit of a dream. Stay tuned for more in our "Founder of the Week" series as we celebrate visionaries like Bertin. Explore MetaFlight's mission and vision at metaflight.aero.
Full interview below 👇
What motivated you to start your company and how did you begin your entrepreneurial journey?
What motivated me to start MetaFlight was my passion for aviation and my initial dream of becoming a pilot for AirFrance. However, life had other plans for me, leading me to a desk job instead of a cockpit. Nevertheless, my love for aviation never waned, and I found a way to experience it through flight simulation, particularly Flight Simulator.However, there was something missing deeply within me: that sense of responsibility as a commercial airline pilot, managing passengers, and the genuine flying experience. That's when I founded AirFrance Virtuel in 2011, a virtual airline, to recreate that dream.Today, AirFrance Virtuel has become the world's number one French-speaking virtual airline with over 3000 pilots. But I knew there was still so much untapped potential in the field of flight simulation. That's where MetaFlight was born. To realize this vision, I assembled an exceptional team of individuals determined to push the boundaries of immersion, making careers in aviation accessible to all aviation enthusiasts and professionals, while ensuring operational safety through blockchain technology. MetaFlight is the culmination of this passion and commitment to provide a unique immersive experience for this dedicated community.
Identifying a market need is crucial for any business. Can you share the story behind discovering the market opportunity that led to your business idea?
Identifying a market need is the cornerstone of any successful business venture, and our journey with MetaFlight began with a glaring void in the aviation simulation community. Aviation enthusiasts and professionals practicing flight simulation were consistently yearning for more immersive content and experiences that were sorely lacking in the industry.There was a conspicuous absence of groundbreaking gameplay, no blockchain-backed flight tracking, and no comprehensive training services within a single platform. Flight simulators, despite their incredible potential, remained largely untapped as tools for professional development and skill maintenance.This realization was the spark that ignited MetaFlight. We recognized the pressing need to bridge this gap by creating a revolutionary solution. MetaFlight leverages the power of technology to democratize access to aviation careers through an immersive and collaborative online platform dedicated to aeronautics.Our mission is clear: to provide aviation enthusiasts and professionals with an all-encompassing ecosystem that offers immersive experiences, real-world training, and blockchain-secured flight records. This unique approach not only serves the demands of an eager market but also holds the potential to revolutionize how we perceive and approach aviation education and skill development.As we move forward, we are not just meeting market needs; we are pioneering a new era of aviation simulation and training, positioning MetaFlight as the go-to platform for those who aspire to soar in the skies and for those who are already in the cockpit, seeking to enhance their expertise.
Starting a company often involves overcoming obstacles. Could you tell us about a significant challenge you faced during the early stages of your company and how you navigated through it?
Launching a company is a journey fraught with challenges, and one significant obstacle we faced in the early stages of MetaFlight was conveying the comprehensive ecosystem we aimed to build to institutional stakeholders and investors. For over a year, we navigated through turbulent skies virtually alone, relying primarily on self-funding, despite securing some grants.The resilience to weather such a journey on a project of this magnitude, one that demands a full spectrum of expertise, cannot be understated. We made substantial investments to develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for our platform, working with freelance teams, which came with its share of costs.However, our community's unwavering support played a pivotal role in MetaFlight achieving its first commercial traction. Their dedication and enthusiasm have been invaluable, propelling us forward even in the face of adversity.While the early stages were undoubtedly challenging, they also allowed us to demonstrate our commitment to MetaFlight's vision. As we move forward, we look to investors who share our belief in the potential of this transformative platform. We're ready to navigate the next phases of growth with the same determination and innovative spirit that brought us this far.
Building a strong team is essential for success. What qualities were you looking for when assembling your founding team, and what advice do you have for others in this regard?
The success of an entrepreneur hinges on their ability to select the right team members. It's a bit like a romantic relationship, in a way—there are ups and downs, but will it be for better or worse? So, surround yourself with the best.When assembling our founding team at MetaFlight, we were seeking individuals who embodied a combination of unwavering commitment, diverse skill sets, and a shared passion for our vision. It's not just about finding someone who fits the job description; it's about finding partners who believe in the mission and are willing to ride the entrepreneurial rollercoaster.One piece of advice I can offer to fellow entrepreneurs is this: prioritize values alignment and shared dedication. Seek out team members who are not only talented but who also genuinely care about the journey and the impact we aim to make. The right team can turn obstacles into opportunities and help bring your vision to life.In the turbulent world of entrepreneurship, the strength of your team often determines your altitude. So, choose wisely, and together, reach new heights.
Looking ahead, what's the long-term vision for the company? How do you plan to continue innovating and making an impact in your industry?
Our long-term vision for MetaFlight is nothing short of becoming the go-to platform for aviation simulation. Regardless of one's ethnic or cultural background, socioeconomic status, we believe the doors to the aviation industry should be open to all. We're on a mission to break down the elitist barriers that have traditionally characterized this industry.Success, for us, is when we hear the stories of individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds who have been able to kickstart or achieve their dreams in aviation through our platform. We're here to level the playing field and make aerospace careers accessible to anyone with a passion for flight.To continue innovating and leaving a lasting impact, we're committed to pushing the boundaries of technology and education in aviation simulation. We'll invest in cutting-edge features, immersive experiences, and industry partnerships to ensure MetaFlight remains at the forefront of the industry.Our vision isn't just about creating a successful company; it's about transforming lives and reshaping the aviation landscape. We invite investors to join us on this journey, where innovation, accessibility, and inclusivity are at the heart of everything we do.
What is the most important skill for an entrepreneur to have?
What motivates you to be an entrepreneur?
What motivates me to be an entrepreneur is deeply rooted in my upbringing, especially the influence of my parents. My mother naturally instilled in me a sense of commerce and business acumen, while my father passed down his generosity and a profound desire to help others.But it goes beyond that; it's a personal calling. It traces back to my childhood dream, a dream that still sends shivers down my spine whenever I catch a glimpse of an airplane, even from afar. It's more than just motivation to become an entrepreneur; it's a life mission. In this world, on this planet, my purpose is crystal clear—to make careers in aviation accessible to all, each and every individual.Yes, to everyone. It's not merely about building a business; it's about fulfilling a vision that holds the power to transform lives, break down barriers, and provide opportunities to countless individuals who share the same passion for aviation. This drive, this purpose, is what fuels me every day as an entrepreneur, and it's the force behind MetaFlight's mission and vision.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own business?
Learn to embrace problems, for entrepreneurship is a realm filled with challenges waiting to be solved. Don't fear failure; it's the stepping stone to learning and eventually succeeding.
How has entrepreneurship impacted your life?
Entrepreneurship has left a profound impact on my life, as I effectively lead a triple life. There's my personal life, the professional life that sustains MetaFlight, paying the bills at the end of each month, and then there's my life as the founder of MetaFlight. This means working far more than the average, often around the clock, without counting the hours.The challenge lies in balancing these three aspects with intelligence, all while ensuring I don't neglect my family life. It's a delicate juggling act, one that requires impeccable time management and a keen sense of prioritization.The most demanding part is finding that perfect equilibrium, ensuring that nothing is neglected, and precisely allocating effort between personal and professional life. It's an endeavor that constantly tests and pushes my limits, but it's also incredibly rewarding, as it's propelling MetaFlight toward realizing its vision.
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